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From Live in Costa Rica blog – As we age we become more and more aware of the importance of physical exercise and the role it plays in our health. Fortunately, it is easy to stay fit in Costa Rica since there are a variety of both outdoor activities and indoor venues like gyms to help you stay healthy.

Costa Rica is the perfect place for walking and hiking. I always find an excuse not to use my car and walk as much as I can. When it is raining you can even do mall walking here.

Costa Rica is a marvelous place for those who are interested in hiking. The country’s incredible vistas and scenery make hiking an enjoyable way to stay fit. By hiking you can reach areas that are not accessible by car, boat or train. The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone. Now there are various organized groups that hike most Sundays. All you need to do is be in good enough shape had have an adventurous spirit.

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Caminatas Ecológicas Educativas is one of the groups that offers hikes almost every Sunday. The groups range between 20 to 30 people. Luís Fernando Boza, who is the guide and leader of the is group, knows the areas and terrain where the hikes take place. Ha states, “The objective of this group is to get people out of the city, explore rural parts of the country and at the same time engage in a beneficial exercise.” During the hikes Luís Fernando talks about the geology, types of rocks, rivers and other formations. Along the way the participants also have the opportunity to view a variety of wildlife like toucans, butterflies and other creatures.

What are the prerequisites for joining a hiking group. The first is motivation and to realize that the hikes are not a form of competition but a recreational exercise. You also need a pair of hiking books with a good tread. Tennis shoes and jeans are not recommended especially since the latter are heavy when they get wet. Light pants work a lot better. Other indispensable items are: a wide-brim hat for the sun, compass, a daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, a light snack, a cell phone a lot of water and lightweight jacket. Cameras and walking staffs are optional.

If you are more adventurous, in very good physical condition and can handle treks of up to four to nine hours you can check out the activities sponsored by the Club de Montañismo de la Universidad de Costa Rica. This mountaineering club offers longer hikes with overnight stays. There is a monthly membership fee and the duration of the hikes will determine additional costs.

The best part of these activities is that you make a lot of new friends, share wonderful experiences and explore some incredible areas of the country.

Here is the contact information for the local hiking clubs:

Caminatas Shkuk
Caminars-hkuk@gmail.com
2223-3186

Grupo Troleando por Tiquicia
6010-0048

Club de Montañismo de la Universidad de Costa Rica
www.climbmont.ucr.ac.cr
2511-1811 speak with Alonso Castro Mattel

Caminatas Miguel Chino Solís
8393-1846 or 2229-0809

Enjoy!